Massive Trove Of Facebook User Data Found On Amazon’s Cloud

Data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users found on Amazon cloud servers

Facebook lets third party developers integrate apps and websites with its platform to increase functionality and ease of use.

It's the latest data lapse involving the social media giant since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, which saw more than 87 million Facebook user records scraped without consent by the United Kingdom -based political data firm.

UpGuard had also added that another database named as "At the Pool", had password and email addresses of 22,000 Facebook account holders.

"As Facebook faces scrutiny over its data stewardship practices, they have made efforts to reduce third party access". Most famously, the political data firm Cambridge Analytica harvested information on users through a seemingly innocuous quiz app. Facebook has since cut down on the number of apps with access to user data.

"But as these exposures show, the data genie can not be put back in the bottle".

"The data exposed in each of these sets would not exist without Facebook, yet these data sets are no longer under Facebook's control", the UpGuard researchers wrote in its blogpost.

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Chris Vickery, Director of Cyber Risk Research at UpGuard, said, "The public doesn't realize yet that these high-level systems administrators and developers, the people that are custodians of this data, they are being either risky or lazy or cutting corners".

It's not clear how long the data was publicly available, or who may have obtained it from the servers, if anyone.

UpGuard typically notifies companies about S3 bucket exposures before reporting them publicly. Following tearing down of intriguing webs of Facebook database from Amazon Cloud server, a Facebook spokeswoman said, "We worked to get the databases in question taken down, but we are still investigating exactly what information was stored there".

The company later announced changes to the platform aimed at protecting user data.

Though there remains the possibility that these app developers could have inadvertently placed the information on public servers, it serves as a reminder that Facebook data is not always private.

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